We’ll ride the slopes of Monte Grappa. Fare il Grappa, to do Grappa, is the obligatory climb and right of passage of every local cyclist.
Monte Grappa and mountain finale
We’ll take the opportunity to see today’s Giro d’Italia stage start. We’ll arrive in time to see the team buses arrive and riders sign on. Giro stage starts are great to see, as riders are more relaxed and offer their time to ‘tifosi’ more freely. Locals gather at local cafes, sipping their espresso and discussing today’s articles in La Gazzetta dello Sport. As they set off for one of the queen stages of the giro, we’ll ride the slopes of Monte Grappa.
Cima Grappa rises from the plains to a height of 1775 meters. It was a World War 1 battleground and has great significance for the Italian people, particularly the “Alpini”. It is a wonderland for cyclists, offering nine paved routes to the summit, one of which is considered the third hardest climb in Italy. Fare il Grappa, to do Grappa, is the obligatory climb and right of passage of every local cyclist. The northern route is possibly an easier ascent, but the variable gradient and some downhill make you wonder when you’ll see the top.
From the top, there is a side road that takes you up to the war monument with great views across the Veneto plains. After reaching the summit, we’ll descend to Bassano del Grappa for the afternoon.
Our easier ride will head down the bikeway beside the Brenta river and visit a couple of Veneto villages before meeting the rest of the group in Bassano del Grappa. We may even indulge in the local drink, simply called Grappa. After the race has finished, we’ll travel to our final hotel, a 4-star resort in one of Italy’s oldest wine growing regions, near Verona.
TODAY IN THE GIRO D’ITALIA RACE
Stage 20: Feltre and Croce d’Aune-Monte Avena *****, 193km
A final queen stage across the Dolomites, with over 5,000 m elevation gain. The route takes in climbs up Cima Campo, Passo Manghen and Passo Rolle, and a closing climb up Croce d’Aune-Monte Avena. The summit finish is nearly 15 km with gradients exceeding 10-12% at points.